ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. 75 he knew would have followed Baudin. many intelligent persons in Cuba opposed this plan, and referred particularly to the uncertainty and de- ception of newspaper accounts, they had no influence over Humboldt, who, impressed with the idea of his promise, and inspired by the hope of exploring the physically so remarkable and rich Spanish possessions,, for fifty years inaccessible to every stranger, remained faithful to his pxxrpose. He had, from the first, made it the chief aim of his voyage to complete the most important hitherto neglected investigations of the* earth ^and its nature, and to bring about a really scientific natural philosophy of our globe. With this truly inquiring mind for science, he hired a bark on the qxiay of Batabano, with which he pro- posed to go to Porto Oabello, or Carthagena, with a favourable wind. With this hope he went with Bon- pland to Batabano on the 6th March, 1801, arrived on the 8th March, at what was at that time only a miserable marshy village, and steered thence south along the island of Cuba, but at the same time exa- mined several points of the coast and the neighbouring islands, and determined astronomically their geogra- phies position. Ho had calculated that this voyage would only occupy about a fortnight, but it lasted nearly four weeks, as contrary winds detained them,, and the ship, driven too far west by the storm, had to land at the Hio Sinu, on* the continent of South America. Hero no botanist had ever examined the vegetable kingdom, and Humboldt and Bonpland found an acceptable task until the 27th March, when the ship started again. Its owner, however., did not, accede to Humboldt* s request to land in Columbia, OIL account of the wild region in which they were. The. ravage state had been shown on their first landing ; for when Humboldt and Bonpland rowed to the river shore with the intention of botanising in the moon- light, they would have fallen into an ambuscade of naked men, armed and laden with chains being pro- bably criminals broken loose, if they had not -retreated iix time and with caution to the ship.